Planted corn acres this fall are likely to be 94.329 million acres, an increase of 2.6 percent from the 91.9 million acres last year, according to a Bloomberg survey of 36 analysts, bankers, and farmers earlier this month. This planted acreage for corn would be the most acres since 1944.  Soybean acreage may increase to 75.309 million acres, 0.4 percent over 2011 and the fifth largest ever.

Combined acreage for corn, soybeans, and wheat could total 226.9 million acres, 2.5 percent more than last year and the most acreage since 1984.  The extra acres this year will come from other crops and land that exited the Conservation Reserve Program.  Floods, drought, and freezes last year also prevented planting of the three crops on about 8.577 million acres, 28 percent more than in 2010, according to USDA.  An additional 1.84 million acres that were planted failed to produce– more than double the amount a year earlier.

Some analysts see crop surpluses emerging from this fall’s harvest while others point to the drought conditions in certain parts of the U.S. Midwest and South America.  “There is unlikely to be any ground that won’t be planted this year,” Todd Wachtel, a 40-year-old farmer who works about 5,700 acres in Altamont, Illinois, told Bloomberg.   Another farmer, David Kopseng, a fourth-generation grower on 4,700 acres in North Dakota, plans to increase corn plantings by 17 percent to 1,400 acres from a year earlier.  In 2006, he did not sow any grains, he added. “We’re going to plant the most corn acres ever.  I’ve been buying some more land and renting more because of corn’s profitability. It’s a great time to be a farmer in North Dakota,” Kopseng said.

 

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